Windsurfing, surfing, Maui, The Gorge, and random rants.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jaws went off - and may again soon

So Jaws in fact did "go off" in a pretty good fashion on Wednesday.  We had driven up to Haiku and heard early reports that it "wasn't that big".  But I guess not that big is all very relative , right? Maybe not 60ft but it looks like it hit around 45ft on the bigger sets.  To me that seems plenty big enough.  We're sort of kicking ourselves for not driving down there, but we also heard that non-4WD drive cars might not make it.  Again this wasn't entirely true. The access road was in pretty good shape, though I suppose in the winter with enough rain this could be a very different situation.

Fortunately some folks did make the drive and got some great shots of the action.  The first picture is from Nayra's blog and shows Francisco Porcella skipping down the face of a huge wave which then sucked him up and through him over the falls.

Francisco Porcella wishing he had a "Jaws" board.

Tormod's blog has an interview with Francisco Porcella concerning his Jaws experience and its very entertaining. The amazing thing is that Francisco stayed out there and after the wind came up he rode Jaws again, this time windsurfing.

The sail is 15ft high so the wave is ... 45ft?

Again check out those blogs for more pictures and stories. Now I've been reading the surf forecasts a lot lately and its nothing but swell after swell, even on the south shore! Here's some snippets to give you an idea...

Outlook through Thursday Dec 3: ... surf is expected to build on Saturday morning, peaking in the moderate to marginally high bracket late Saturday. Moderate surf from 320-350 degrees should hold on Sunday... more marginally high surf locally building Sunday night and holding on Monday. Surf should lean below moderate levels by Tuesday afternoon... a new episode locally, with a slow rise due to the long travel distance starting on Wednesday morning from 315-325 degrees, reaching the high category late Wednesday...a storm-force system SE of New Zealand on Thanksgiving into Friday has generated seas over 30 feet, as validated by the jason altimeter. This could give a moderate to near high episode starting next Friday into Saturday from 185-200 degrees.

And if all that wasn't enough, check out this last paragraph in Pat's surf forecast:

In the northern hemisphere, it will be the 40th anniversary next week of the hugest surf of the last 50 years, a series of episodes with the peak day on December 4, 1969. That episode was a typhoon-fueled, extratropical source. Presently, there is a typhoon in the western Pacific, nadi, to watch for re-curvature into the central north Pacific mid next week. It is too early for specifics, though the potential for the gender bender, meaning a tropical warm core low turning to a mid latitude cold core low, ups the surf potential ante.

To be sure, look at the NPAC map below and you will see Nadi, currently a super typoon with winds of 150-180kts, in the western pacific in a location favorable for gender bender potential. We probably won't be here for this swell event if it should happen, though tickets can be changed...

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